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Adrienne Visani

Staff Research Associate

Since joining the MAC in August 2016, Adrienne works as a research assistant to Dr. Gil Rabinovici on neuroimaging processing and analysis of the many PET scans acquired for MAC patients. She works on projects looking at the topographical distribution of amyloid and tau proteins in early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. She aims to continue research on neurodegeneration as a medical student and physician.

Adrienne grew up in Denver before heading to the West Coast. She completed her B.S. degree in neuroscience from the University of Southern California in 2016. Her interest in neurodegenerative disorders was born in the classroom but grew in the lab, first as a research assistant looking at the role of B cells in multiple sclerosis. Throughout college she worked at USC’s Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute in Dr. Terrence Town’s lab studying how microglia can help and hinder the pathological burden of Alzheimer’s disease in a rat model.

Besides looking at brain images, Adrienne enjoys rock climbing and rock music, hiking and camping, and sharing stories from her time spent abroad in Cape Town, South Africa.

Delia Zhou

Administrative Manager, Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank

A San Francisco native, Delia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Chicago, where she majored in environmental studies and minored in creative writing. Prior to joining the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, she worked as a clinical research assistant with the Hospitalist Study at the Bernard A. Mitchell Hospital and as an operations analyst with the UCSF Department of Medicine central administration team at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. At the Memory and Aging Center, she works with Dr. William Seeley to manage the Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank, facilitating both the participant donation process and requests for tissue from investigators researching neurological disease.

IDEAS: Imaging Dementia – Evidence for Amyloid Scanning

The IDEAS study will investigate how a specific type of brain scan – known as an amyloid PET scan – helps guide doctors in treating mild cognitive impairment or dementia, and whether these changes in treatment lead to better medical outcomes for patients.

Summary

  • Study director: Gil Rabinovici, MD
  • Sponsor: Alzheimer’s Association
  • Recruiting?: Yes
  • Official study title: IDEAS: Imaging Dementia – Evidence for Amyloid Scanning

Alzheimer's Disease Trial with Crenezumab - Phase 3

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of crenezumab in patients with prodromal to mild Alzheimer’s disease.

Summary

  • Study director: Adam Boxer, MD, PhD
  • Sponsor: F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.
  • Recruiting?: Yes
  • Official study title: A Phase III, Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group, Efficacy and Safety Study of Crenezumab in Patients with Prodromal to Mild Alzheimer’s Disease

Viktoriya Bourakova

Staff Research Associate

Viktoriya attended the University of San Francisco and received a degree in psychology, neuroscience, and classical studies. Prior to joining the Memory and Aging Center (MAC), Viktoriya was a research coordinator at the San Francisco VA Medical Center working under Dr. Michael Weiner to examine the effects of traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and Alzheimer’s disease. She later became a research associate and imaging technician involved with projects studying PTSD biomarkers as well as frontotemporal dementia.

Viktoriya joined Dr. Gil Rabinovici’s lab at the MAC in June 2016, working with PET imaging to study hypometabolism, amyloid and tau in neurodegenerative diseases.

Julie Feuer, LCSW

Social Worker

Julie Feuer earned a Master of Science degree from Columbia University School of Social Work and is certified as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She relocated from the East Coast several years ago and is happy to have found a new home in San Francisco and the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. Julie’s work typically focuses on mental health, wellness, and interpersonal communication and roles. For more than 15 years she has worked closely with families and individuals in their homes, the community, and within hospital and clinic settings. She describes ‘coming of age’ professionally at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City, and remains drawn to models of care that build upon people’s internal strengths, social supports, and community resources. Before joining the Care Ecosystem study in 2015, Julie provided clinical and administrative supervision to therapists and case managers serving adults with severe and chronic mental illnesses. In a previous role as a therapist with the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study, she worked to help people alleviate psycho-social-spiritual distress as they approached the end of life.

Jamie Starks, MD

Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Jamie Starks joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in July 2016 as a clinical fellow in behavioral neurology. She completed medical school and neurology residency training at the University of Minnesota, where she served as a chief resident and co-director of the medical school’s neurology course in 2015 and 2016. Dr. Starks’ interests include education and dementia care models.

Emily Fox

Clinical Research Coordinator

Emily holds a bachelor of arts degree from UC Berkeley, where she majored in psychology and minored in Spanish. During her time at Berkeley she worked in the Gopnik Cognitive Development Lab looking at psychosocial cognition in young children and in the Hafter Lab of Auditory Perception studying semantic processing as it relates to hearing impairment and the development of hearing aids. At the Memory and Aging Center, Emily works primarily on a longitudinal study on healthy aging. Lead by Dr. Joel Kramer, this study looks at the multiplicity of factors that influence cognitive aging in older adults, from lifestyle factors to relevant biomarkers. Additionally, she coordinates a smaller study examining the effects of chronic inflammation on brain aging in healthy elderly individuals and in those with mild cognitive impairment. In her spare time, Emily enjoys practicing yoga and getting outdoors.

Jessica Deleon, MD

Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Jessica Deleon is a behavioral neurology fellow at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC). She focuses on care of patients with cognitive decline and dementia, including Alzheimer's dementia and frontotemporal dementia. Prior to joining the MAC, she completed her medical degree, medicine internship and neurology residency at UCSF. Her research interests include neuroimaging and the neural basis of speech and language, using primary progressive aphasia (PPA) as a disease model. She also has an interest in the socioeconomic factors that influence dementia care.

Monroe Butler, MD, PhD

Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Butler trained in Boston where he completed graduate studies in philosophy and ethics prior to completing his medical and doctorate degrees. His dissertation research explored non-motor features of Parkinson’s disease. He joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in 2016 as a behavioral neurology fellow with an interest in studying the neuroscience of valuation and decision-making.

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